How to detect RAM failure on a Windows 10 computer
If your Windows 10 computer is experiencing frequent crashes, random reboots, freezes, BSODs, and applications are running very slowly, it can be difficult to determine the cause of the problem. It may be related to software or hardware.
Nevertheless, RAM. Is what you need to check first of all. The thing is that a faulty memory module may not only cause malfunctioning of your computer, but also damage your user’s files.
Although third-party memory diagnostic tools are available online, Windows 10 includes its own memory checker to detect potential RAM problems.
This guide will walk you through the steps for using the Windows Memory Checker to detect a failed memory module.
How to diagnose memory problems in Windows 10
- Open the Control Panel (press the Windows key and type “control panel,” then select the appropriate option in the search results).
- Select View: Category, then go to System and Security.
- Select the Administration section.
- Double-click the Windows Memory Checker icon.
How to Check How Much RAM You Have on a Windows 10 PC
Tip: Alternatively you can use the Windows R shortcut. Then type mdsched.exe and click OK to start the tool.
- Select the option Perform reboot and verification (recommended). The tool also offers the alternative option to. Perform the check the next time you turn on your computer.
- After restarting your computer, the “Windows Memory Diagnostic Tool” environment will launch, and the test will be run in “Normal” mode. In this mode the tool performs all tests of “Basic” mode, and also tests LRAND, Stride6 (with cache enabled), CHCKR3, WMATS and WINVC.
You can use Normal mode to test your computer’s memory, or you can press the F1 key at any time to open the Settings page to change the scanner settings.
On “Parameters” page you can choose “Basic” mode, which includes only MATS, INVC and SCHCKR tests (with cache enabled).
You can also select the “Wide” mode, which includes all available tests of the “Normal” mode, as well as MATS (with cache disabled), Stride38, WSCHCKR, WStride-6, CHCKR4, WCHCKR3, ERAND, Stride6 (with cache disabled) and CHCKR8.
If necessary, you can navigate through the various settings with the TAB key to change the cache settings. If you disable the cache, the tool will access the data in RAM directly, ensuring that the test is complete. In addition, you can also set the number of scanner passes.
Once you are done selecting your options, simply press the F10 key to return to the home page and the scan will start automatically.
Analyze the results of the scan
- Open the “Start” menu, search for eventvwr.exe and press the Enter key to open the Event Viewer application.
- Expand the “Windows Logs” item.
- Right-click on “System” and select the “Find” option.
- Enter MemoryDiagnostics-Results and click “Find Next”.
- Close the “Find” dialog box.
- In the Event Viewer, double-click the MemoryDiagnostics-Results entry and see the message. If the description says “Computer memory checked with Windows memory checker; no errors found” then you can rule out a RAM problem as the cause of the problem.
If the result shows one or more errors, you can try running the “Wide” memory test and double-check the results. If you still see at least one error on one of the RAM modules, you will probably need to replace the memory strip.
Sometimes, when a test fails, the tool can indicate which module has a problem with the results. However, if it cannot provide this information, you may have to manually disconnect and test each memory module until you find out which module is faulty.
Although this guide is intended for Windows 10 users, the Windows memory checker is available for use on Windows 8 as well.1 and Windows 7.
How to properly check RAM for errors
RAM is the part of your computer that is responsible for executing program codes and transferring data between the hard drive and the processor. If the CPU is the brain of the computer, the OP is the neural system. It is very important that the RAM is error free, otherwise the whole system may crash. For this reason, if a strange situation occurs, it is necessary to immediately check the RAM for malfunctions.
Symptoms of RAM errors
There are a significant number of indicators of RAM failures, among the most common ones are
- Frequent BSOD’s (Blue Screen of Death). Not always related to RAM (more often to the work of device drivers), but errors in RAM can be one of the causes.
- Crashes during intensive use of RAM in games, 3D applications, video editing and graphics, archiving and unpacking archives (e.g. unarc error).RAM failure often occurs due to memory problems).
- Distorted image on the monitor. often a sign of video card problems, but in some cases caused by RAM errors.
- The computer does not boot and keeps beeping. You can look up your motherboard buzzer tables to see if the squeaks you hear correspond to memory failures.
Once again: the presence of any of these symptoms does not mean that it is the RAM of the computer, but it is worth checking it. The unspoken standard for performing this task is the small memtest86 utility for checking RAM, but there is also a built-in Windows Memory Diagnistics Tool utility that allows you to perform a RAM check without third-party programs. Below we are going to discuss both variants.
How to check the memory with Memtest86
How to use the Memtest86 program:
Unpack the program archive, create a bootable disk or a bootable flash drive using the resulting files:
if you have a flash drive. connect it to your computer, empty files on it, run a program to create a flash drive and then, following the instructions of the wizard, complete the process of creation.
If your computer has an optical drive, insert a blank CD or DVD in the optical drive and burn a virtual Memtest86 disk image to it.
Boot the computer using the created boot disk or Memtest86 flash drive. You can do this in one of the following ways:
Connect a flash drive or disk to your computer and restart it. When the computer is booting, you must enter the boot device selection menu. Usually this menu is activated by holding down the F8 key during startup (you must press and hold or frequently press the F8 key immediately after startup). In laptops, some other key may be used instead of F8 (F10, F2, etc.). depending on the model). The boot menu is usually a list of devices against a blue background (see picture on the right). To select among them the device from which you want to boot your computer, you need to highlight it in the list (move the highlighting to it with the Up or Down keys) and press the Enter key;
Connect your USB stick or disk to your computer and reboot the computer. During startup go to computer’s BIOS setup. To do this, immediately after starting the computer, press and hold the Del (Delete) key. Some computers may use another key (F2, F4, F5, F10, etc) instead of the Del key.).
The BIOS setup menu is a list of different options, grouped by sections. In one of these sections you need to find an item called “First Boot”, “First Boot Devices”, “1st Boot Devices” or something else with the word Boot (see. screenshot). At this point you need to select CD/DVD drive or USB-device (depending on what kind of the media was selected in the previous step), then press F10 and then Enter.
To navigate and change BIOS items use the arrow keys “Right”, “Left”, “Up”, “Down” (to move the selection and move from one section to another), as well as the Enter and Esc keys (to activate and deactivate items).
As a result of booting computer from hard disk or USB flash drive Memtest86 will start and check your RAM (see also “Testing RAM” on page 66). screenshot below). The test takes place before the user stops it (i.e., the test can last as long as he wants). To stop the test just press the Esc key.
For quality check the memory should be scanned for 30-40 minutes to several hours (depending on the amount of memory). It is recommended to perform at least 3-4 passes (the number of passes is displayed in the program window). The errors found are immediately highlighted in red.
Starting the memory scan from a Windows 7/8/10 installation disk
Works only with Windows 7/8/10 installed.
Windows 7: to check the RAM using the installation disk, you need to boot from it, select “System Restore”. go through a couple of simple steps. click on “Diagnose Windows Memory”. then as in the instructions above.
Windows 8/10: it is more complicated here. I don’t know why Microsoft did it this way. You have to go through the following quest: boot from the Windows 8/10 installation disk, select “System Restore”, then “Troubleshooting”. “Command Line”. And in it write “mdsched”, then “Run the test and reboot”, remove the disk (to boot from the hard drive) and wait for the test to complete.
If Windows is not available on your PC, you should use an alternative. For example, create a bootable disk with the MemTest86 program.
How does RAM fail?
Usually RAM malfunctions are indicated by the following symptoms:
- PC or laptop does not respond to pressing the power button.
- After pressing the power button, the system speaker beeps if the POST failed. And the codes (combinations of short and long beeps) do not always indicate memory problems.
- Computer starts up and shuts down or restarts cyclically at any stage of booting.
- Error messages are displayed after startup. E.g: “CMOS checksum error”, “CMOS checksum bad”, etc. п.
- During startup and operation the operating system crashes with critical errors (blue screens). PAGE_FAULT_IN_NONPAGED_AREA, UNEXPECTED_KERNEL_MODE_TRAP, DATA_BUS_ERROR, PFN_LIST_CORRUPT, KERNEL_STACK_INPAGE_ERROR, UNEXPECTED_KERNEL_MODE_TRAP, but there can be others. Very often different.
- The image on the screen is missing or distorted (video memory defects). If there is no discrete video with its own memory the latter is separated from RAM.
- Computer freezes or hangs until user restarts.
- File transfer and copying functions stop working.
- Errors occur while starting and running applications. E.g. “Memory cannot be read/written” and others.
- Programs cannot be installed or uninstalled.
- Files stop saving. Or they cannot be opened after being saved.
- Operating system components are damaged.
As you can see, this list includes just about everything that can happen when your computer malfunctions. And it’s only because of a corrupted RAM!
By the way, very often the memory problems masquerade as other problems and announce themselves in the most bizarre way. There were cases when they were manifested by permanent crashes of anti-virus software (gives reasons to “blame” on the elusive viruses), unstable connection to Wi-Fi, loss of device drivers (after installation the driver works only until you reboot the computer), etc. п.
Sometimes the same failure occurs all the time, sometimes they alternate. It is not uncommon to encounter a combination of several errors, such as blue screens of death and failure of system functions.
What consequences can result from the use of defective RAM? To the most deplorable. Specifically, to the loss of data you work with on a PC. In the process of opening and overwriting the files will accumulate errors, which sooner or later will make them unreadable and possibly unusable for recovery.
Verification using this method without any difficulty can be performed by owners of computers with Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 10.
Standard tool to check the RAM regularly runs in the listed operating systems by yourself. In other words, RAM is monitored in the operating system all the time.
Users also have the ability to perform a check at any convenient moment. Here is a step-by-step instruction:
Open Start and in the search line type the word combination “RAM” (the “opera” part will be enough to find this utility). At the very top of the search results will be “Diagnose computer memory problems”. All you have to do now is run it.
If you have trouble with the search, try typing mdsched. A utility with the same name should appear in the output. It is the same as the built-in test tool. However, in order to execute the check correctly, run it as administrator (by right-clicking on the output and selecting the corresponding item in the list above).
You will be given two choices: whether to perform the test now or after the next system startup. If you decide to check your RAM now, the OS will automatically reboot, and then the test will start.
The peculiarity of the standard tool is that the check is performed exactly at the time of enabling. The test result is displayed in the quick start menu (next to the date, clock, language and volume knob).If no problems are found, the message “No memory errors detected” will appear.
If you click on this message you can read more about the results of the utility. Each time the utility checks many parameters, including boot speed, compatibility and performance. If a specific problem is found, it is recommended to contact the manufacturer of the RAM to solve it. You can find out the manufacturer in the user manual of your computer or, if the RAM card was purchased separately. on the instructions for it. Also the manufacturer’s mark should be on the device itself. The contacts of the company can be found without much difficulty on the Internet.
With a valid warranty the store will be required to replace the RAM or the entire computer. Otherwise you will have to take the PC to a computer service. Professional specialists are able to restore the operability of RAM, if the damage is not physical. In critical situations you will need to look for a new board with a capacity that will provide the computer with normal functioning.
If you feel that your computer does not work properly, hangs up, or occasionally you see a blue screen. The squeak when you turn on your computer can also indicate a problem with RAM. About what the sound, what it means you can learn from this article. No matter why, you just want to check the RAM of your laptop or computer, tell you how to do it yourself.
Many people do not know, but for this you do not need to have any specific knowledge and have special software or equipment. The Windows operating system has a program, a memory diagnostic tool.
All you need to do is to click on the menu icon at the bottom left of the screen and start typing the word RAM, then launch this utility by clicking.
If it did not work for some reason, then simply open a command line using the WinR key combination and enter the command mdsched
Here you choose when to test your RAM. Immediately start the test by rebooting the computer or at the next power-on.
If you press the F1 key you can change the test parameters:
If you do not know just wait until the end of the test. Believe me, the default settings will be optimal.
At the end of the test your computer will start and you can see the result of the test in the form of a pop up message in the quick start menu.
How to check the RAM of an experienced user.
As a rule, an experienced user uses mostly the MemTest86 program
You can download the program from the official site. The program is written to disk or USB flash drive and loaded on it your computer.
There is also an instruction manual, although in English, but nowadays it is not a problem.
Ways to test computer RAM for functionality
The fact that RAM plays a significant role in the computer is known to many. On the amount and type of memory depends performance PC, with its help is implemented multitasking Windows. In short, along with the CPU “operativka” is the hardware, which provides high performance computer.
And although the memory cards do not have mechanical components, and the entire work of data exchange with the processor and storage implemented by the electronic interface, this component is also not eternal, with it too, there are problems that bring malfunctions in PC. Today we will look at ways to test RAM for errors by ourselves.